Wednesday, March 23, 2011

                               If new to this site, scroll to bottom of page, 
                       click “Older Posts" and then scroll to Chapter One

                                CONTENTS of this blog to date:
                                      1 - Time and a Kentucky Creek
                                       2 - The Shawnee of Kinniconick
                                       3 - Whispering Goodbye
                                       4  - Kinniconick’s Indian Name
                                       5 – The Mountain Men of Kinniconick
                                       6  - Pioneers!  O’ Kinniconick  Pioneers!
                                          Chapter Seven

                           THE   ROAD

                               Painting by William T. Richards    
                         (Click to enlarge.  Do so with all pics)

                            “I shall be telling this with a sigh,
                           Somewhere ages and ages hence:
                            Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
                             I took the one less traveled by,
                            And that has made all the difference.”

                             From “The Road Not Taken” 
                             by Robert Frost

For many years the roads to Kinniconick were less traveled, and that made all of the difference. 

One road linked the pioneers to Vanceburg , about ten miles from upper Kinney.    Another led to Olive Hill and one to Petersville.  Those roads were made for horses and mules, and the ride was rough for them as well as their masters, over big rock ledges and through creeks, up one hill and down another.  And so it was that the Kinniconick valley remained hidden and remote for a century.

Some people searched, however, for roads less traveled.  One was an entrepreneur who guessed that the beauty of Kinniconick would appeal to folks up and down the Ohio River, as far off as Cincinnati.  He built a hotel on the banks of the creek shortly before the Civil War, and the place has survived pretty much intact for 150 years.

Railroad tracks reached Vanceburg after the Civil War, and the Hotel attracted more and more visitors, nature lovers, fisherman and hunters.  The anglers walked a couple of hundred yards to the banks of Kinney and fished for big muskies in an Eddy called the Beaver Pond.

Over the years a wagon trail had connected Cincinnati and Portsmouth, on the north bank of the Ohio River, but when automobiles took to the roads, a newly graded and graveled A&P Highway was born.  At Sandy Springs, a ferry transported cars across the river. 

My connection to Kinniconick goes back to a time before I was born.   My grandfather’s good friend, a Cincinnatian  by the name of Bathiany, was a nature lover  who somehow discovered the Kinniconick Hotel.  He rode the train to Vanceburg and then a horse-drawn wagon carried him up and over Vanceburg Hill.  After several visits he was in love with Kinney and purchased a few acres on Pine Branch, near Pine Eddy ,where he built his cabin.  Bathiany’s old cabin is gone but not forgotten. 

My family was invited to that log cabin for many years, usually for summer vacations.  Grandpa and Grandma, Mom and Dad, uncles and aunts and cousins, all were privileged guests of Bathiany beginning in the early 1920’s.  I was born in 1930, and made my first trip as a baby.  Now I’m the last to remember.

In the nineteen twenties, family touring cars traveled on the gravel road to Sandy Springs, crossed on the river ferry, then negotiated the trail to Kinney, filling potholes as they went, fording small cricks and blowing out tires.  The trip took an entire day.  When I was a kid, a bridge was constructed which spanned the Ohio at Aberdeen and a tolerable road connected Maysville to Vanceburg.  Out of Vanceburg it was still rough though, slow going, a journey of ten miles in perhaps an hour.  

The road to Kinniconick was full of wonder for me way back then and is vividly remembered today.  Arriving late one Friday night for a weekend stay, at twilight time, with the hills dark against the sky and silent, the light of oil lamps glowing in farm house windows and the smell of wood fires hanging in the air….. It was a road less traveled, and for me it made all of the difference. 

                               Painting of a road less traveled …..
                               by Roger Bansemer

                     Painting of a farmhouse lit by oil lamps and 
                     warmed  by a woodfire….by Mark Keathley



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